As the third largest city in West Virginia with over 30,000 residents in 2014, Morgantown is home to many people, who do not own or have access to a car. Instead, their feet carry them to their destinations. Walking instead of driving is good for both physical health as well as the environment. Here are some tips and advice for navigating Morgantown on foot.
To avoid being a statistic, the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board suggests the following: pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, use designated crosswalks, wear bright and reflective clothing (especially while walking at night) and always be cautious and aware of their surroundings. Use sidewalks or walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.
Children learn from their parents and role models, so teach them to look and listen when crossing the street, crossing only at intersections or crosswalks and using sidewalks or walking while facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.
At night, pedestrians should take extra precautions to walk where there is plenty of street light. West Virginia University maintains a Student Cadet program in which students patrol areas of campus during the school year on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and act as liaisons with the Morgantown Police Department to report problems.
Cadets talk about the program in the video below.
Public Transportation is available when you need to go where you can’t walk, and there are a few options.
- Mountain Line:
- Nineteen routes are offered by the Mountain Line Transit Authority, allowing Morgantown residents without cars to travel throughout the city and to Cheat Lake. Transporting the people of Morgantown since 1996, the bus system costs 75 cents to $1 for a single, one-way fare. Although there are discounts and programs for cheaper rides, WVU students receive free transportation through a swipe of their university IDs. Routes offered by Mountain Line (as shown on their website) includes the Campus PM, Downtown PM Mall, Green Line, Orange Line, Gold Line, Red Line, Tyrone, Purple Line, Cassville, Blue Line, Crown, Mountain Heights, Grafton Road, Pink Line, Grey Line, West Run, Blue & Gold Connector, Beechurst Express, Westover Park & Ride and Valley View.
- Taxis are always an option, as well. Yellow Cab, Motown Taxis, Lyft, Uber and Zipcars are all available throughout Morgantown for longer-distance travels. Yellow Cab can be contacted at (304) 292-3336 and Motown Taxi at (304) 291-8294. Lyft and Uber both have mobile apps to help plan your travels.
- Zipcar requires users to submit an application first in order to use the car. From there, the company gives customers a zipcard to use at any of their vehicles around the city. Some locations include 1112 Van Voohris Road, University Park, Towers and 215 Beechurst Ave. This information and the application to use the service can be found on zipcar’s website.
- WVU’s PRT System:
- If you are traveling right around downtown, you might take a ride on Morgantown’s unique Personal Rapid Transit system, one of only three in the world. Finished in 1975, the PRT costs 50 cents per trip for anyone who is not a student or employee of WVU, but it covers most of the downtown area. For more information, visit the PRT’s webpage.
- Mountain Line:
Morgantown’s Ward System
The city of Morgantown has seven wards, each with specific boundaries. These boundaries allow pedestrians to pinpoint where they are, as well as understand which city councilman to speak with if there are ever problems. You can use this interactive map on the city of Morgantown’s website to find your neighborhood, but in short:
- The First Ward includes White Park, Hopecrest and the Mountaineer Mall.
- The Second Ward includes South Park, the Morgantown High School and some of Greenmont.
- The Third Ward includes Wiles Hill, University Place and the Downtown PRT Station.
- The Fourth Ward includes Suncrest, the Core Arboretum, Patteson Drive and J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
- The Fifth Ward includes Woodburn, the WVU Dairy Farm, Eastwood Elementary School and the WVU Husbandry Farm.
- The Sixth Ward includes South Hills, Marilla Park, Morgantown Municipal Airport and West Sabraton.
- The Seventh Ward includes Eastern Avenue, Dogwood Avenue and Burroughs Street.
Walking for Leisure and Exercise on the Trail Sytems
Morgantown and the surrounding area boast a nice trail system. According to Tour Morgantown, walking trails for leisurely activity in Morgantown include six miles at Caperton Trail, 4.5 miles at Cheat Lake Park and Trail, 19 miles at Deckers Creek Trail, the six mile north and 17.7 mile south trail at Monongahela River Trail, and five miles in the White Park trail system. Just a little way out of town at Cooper’s Rock there are 21 trails available, and 24 miles worth of trails at Big Bear Lake in Bruceton Mills.
Morgantown’s Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners, or BOPARC, encourages pedestrians and Morgantown residents to utilize the two dog parks located in the city. Krepps Dog Park, is located on the corner of Patteson Drive and I-19 beside the WVU Nursing School and WVU Child Learning Center. Stanley’s Spot Dog Park, the other and original dog park in Morgantown, is located beside Deckers Creek Trail and Pleasant Street. Dogs must be vaccinated and over six months old in order to be welcome at the parks. Also, owners must have their dogs on leashes, clean up after their pets and have verbal control of the dogs.
Morgantown’s Pedestrian Safety Board
When you have been in town for a while or if you just want to go and hear what is going on, the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board meets publicly on the first Monday of each month from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Conference Room. Meetings focus on creating a pedestrian-friendly environment for the city. The Pedestrian Safety Board’s chairperson, Matthew Cross has recently identified some of the sidewalks in Morgantown that need attention for their state of disrepair and lack of ADA compliance.
To contact the board, email chairperson Matthew Cross at email@example.com.
Post by Erin Drummond
Video and Map by LaDonna Adams